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Mkhwanazi invites scrutiny amid claims of anti-police plot

Sapa

Acting police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi says he is ready for any investigation into allegations that he looted the crime intelligence fund.

Acting police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi. (Johann Hattingh)

“I would welcome the public protector, Parliament, the United Nations or anyone to investigate me,” Mkhwanazi told reporters in Pretoria on Thursday.

There was an ongoing plot “to discredit the management of the police”, he said.

“The [SA Police Service (SAPS)] management and the crime intelligence division in particular are highly disturbed by the reports reflected in some newspapers reporting untrue reports for reasons unknown to me,” he said.

“It is important to note and record that a total of 149 vehicles in the region of R35-million were bought in the last quarter of the financial year 2011/12 for the distribution of crime intelligence activities in all nine provinces.”

Mkhwanazi was responding to a report in the Star newspaper on Thursday that he allowed the use of R35-million from the Secret Service Account for the purchase of cars for other police units.

According to the report, the allegations were contained in a report which would be handed to Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence next week.

“The average cost of each vehicle was approximately R235 000,” he said.

“More importantly, not a single of these 149 newly-procured vehicles were moved to another division within the SAPS as suggested in the article.”

The Democratic Alliance has called on the auditor general to investigate the allegations.

DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said it was suspicious that allegations of a direct contravention of the Secret Service Act had emerged after Mkhwanazi suspended former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

“The timing of the revelations is curious, considering the recent bold actions by Mkhwanazi and the ongoing factional battles within crime intelligence and the broader police service,” she said.

“Mkhwanazi appears to have fallen out of favour with President [Jacob] Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa after he suspended Richard Mdluli, in apparent defiance of the executive’s wishes.”

Zuma appointed Mkhwanazi as acting police commissioner on October 24 after he suspended Bheki Cele pending the outcome of an investigation into “unlawful” police lease agreements.

Mkhwanazi joined the police force in 1993 and was deployed in the public order policing unit. He was then appointed to the special task force. He was promoted to head of the task force in 2005 and was given the rank of major general. ‐ Sapa

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